On Thursday, August 13, Kazakh authorities announced that the easing of restrictions in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will partially begin from Monday, August 17. According to media sources, restrictions will continue on weekends.
Media sources indicate that shopping centers, retail chains, indoor markets, beauty and hair salons, spa centers, facilities providing cosmetic services, fitness centers without swimming pools, baths and saunas without swimming pools, and education institutions will be able to resume operations on weekdays only and following social distancing guidelines. Additional restrictions will be in place at educational centers for both children and adults; groups of no more than five people will be permitted by appointment only and at preschool institutions, no more than 15 people will be permitted.
Outdoor individual and group sports training will be allowed to resume in groups of no more than five people. Public transport services are also set to resume operations. Entertainment venues such as bars, night and game clubs, karaoke, movie theaters, museums, exhibitions, swimming pools, public beaches, and religious institutions will remain closed. Mass gatherings will continue to be prohibited, including those for entertainment, sport, and family events. Social distancing measures should be observed and face-masks will be mandatory for all individuals in public places.
International flights to Belarus, Egypt, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and Ukraine will begin operations from August 17, after authorities previously allowed flights to resume with China, Japan, Georgia, Korea, Thailand, and Turkey. Flights resuming with Russia will reportedly require approval from Russian authorities. Additional screening measures and PCR testing will be imposed, social distancing measures should be observed, and face-masks worn by passengers.
As of Friday, August 14, there have been 101,848 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 1269 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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